Harry and William not likely mend rift after Philip’s funeral: Relationship is in ‘tatters’

View Original Notice ? Harry and William not likely mend rift after Philip’s funeral: Relationship is in ‘tatters’

It looks increasingly unlikely that Prince William and Prince Harry will unite in grief over Prince Philip’s death and overcome the bad blood between them.

Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (C) gestures as he is followed by (L-R) Britain’s Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, US actress and fiancee of Britain’s Prince Harry Meghan Markle and Britain’s Prince Harry arriving to attend the Royal Family’s traditional Christmas Day church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk, eastern England, on December 25, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Adrian DENNIS (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images) 

Efforts to have them put on a public show of unity at their grandfather’s funeral Saturday have so far failed, with the announcement Thursday that the brothers, once so close, would not walk side by side behind his casket. Instead, their older cousin, Peter Philips, will act as a physical buffer between the feuding brothers for part of the procession to St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.

The arrangements for the procession came from Queen Elizabeth, reports said. The queen also said that no one will wear military uniforms, as usually is tradition for such royal occasions. The queen’s decision was seen as a way to alleviate other drama: Disgraced Prince Andrew wanted to wear a full admiral’s uniform, while army veteran Harry reportedly felt hurt because he wasn’t going to be able to wear his uniform after he was stripped of his honorary military titles when he stepped away from royal duties last year.

Officials at Buckingham Palace sought to downplay the optics of keeping William and Harry physically separate during the procession and denied it was a reflection of any strain in their relationship, the Daily Beast’s royal correspondent Tom Sykes reported. “We’re not going to be drawn into these perceptions of drama,” a palace official said.

Nonetheless, the perception is there, which is turning out to be disappointing to many commentators who had talked up the possibility of a rapprochement. The hope was that the brothers and their father, Prince Charles, could have some meaningful in-person conversations, with Harry flying into the U.K. from his home in California.

Instead, it appears, “on the ground,” that the brothers’ relationship “remains in the tatters,” the Daily Beast’s Sykes reported.

Their long-simmering feud reached a public boiling point last month, after Harry and his wife Meghan Markle sat down for a bombshell TV interview with Oprah Winfrey and made a number of explosive claims about the royal family. The couple alleged that someone in the family said racist things about Meghan and their son Archie. The couple also said the family was cruelly indifferent to Meghan’s mental health struggles, claimed William’s wife Kate Middleton made Meghan cry before her wedding, suggested that William was “trapped” in his role as heir to the throne and blasted Harry’s father, Prince Charles, for cutting them off financially and for not returning Harry’s phone calls.

The allegations of racism prompted a rare public rebuttal from a visibly angry William a few days after the interview. He declared at an event: “We’re very much not a racist family.”

After the interview, Harry and Meghan also faced growing criticism over the fact that their tell-all aired as a blockbuster CBS special while Philip was in the hospital.

Efforts for Harry to reconcile with his family this week have not been helped by British COVID-19 safety protocols, the Daily Beast also reported earlier this week. Since arriving in the U.K. last weekend, Harry has had to self-isolate. He’s been staying at Frogmore Cottage, the home on the grounds of Windsor Castle that the queen gave to him and Meghan to live in before they opted to step away from royal duties and moved to the United States last year.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 10: (L-R) Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge watch the RAF flypast on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, as members of the Royal Family attend events to mark the centenary of the RAF on July 10, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Chris Jackson/Getty Images) (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images) 

Harry has spoken to William by phone since arriving in the U.K., the Telegraph’s royal reporter Camilla Tominey has said. Tominey also touted Kate’s potential role as peacemaker between her husband and her once beloved brother-in-law.

But the Daily Beast noted that William opted to stay the rest of the week at his country home with his wife and children — rather than drive to Windsor Castle and “at least wave to Harry from the garden.”

As a member of a distinct household, Harry won’t be able to sit near any of his family members during the service, which will take place in the same chapel where he and Meghan married in a much-heralded royal wedding in May 2018.

It’s unknown if there will be a wake after the funeral, where Harry might have the chance to have a word or two with William and his father, the Daily Beast reported. But according to British COVID-19 rules, only 15 people at most are allowed to gather for a wake, and it’s not known which family members would be part of such an event.

Other chances of the brothers meeting up after the funeral also are “minimal,” given that the safety protocols say that people can only socialize indoors with people in their social bubble, the Daily Beast reported. Up to six people, or two households, can meet outside, but these circumstances don’t sound conducive to “a meaningful family reconciliation,” the Daily Beast added.

“Given the fraught mood now prevalent in the House of Windsor, few would blame Harry if he decided the best use of his time might be to get on the first plane home to his pregnant wife, and prepare for the birth of his second child,” the Daily Beast said.

View Original Notice ? Harry and William not likely mend rift after Philip’s funeral: Relationship is in ‘tatters’